A plate with grilled salmon and asparagus. Lemon on the side.
Seafood

Salmon spice rub

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This sweet and fragrant spice rub pairs perfectly with salmon for a simple and healthy meal. No need to spend loads of money on a fancy chef’s brand of spice rub. Those of you in the Northwest know who I mean and this is just as good! You can make your own with spices readily available in your cupboard.

A plate with grilled salmon and asparagus. Lemon on the side.
Grilled salmon made with salmon spice rub

Grilled salmon and vegetables is one of my all-time favorite meals. Make this sweet and fragrant salmon spice rub ahead and store it in an airtight container to make dinner in a snap. This salmon spice rub features sweet paprika, fragrant thyme and cumin. This combination of spices makes for a delicious slightly sweet and smoky grilled salmon fillet.

Homemade salmon spice rub with a fillet of fresh salmon on the side.
Rub a generous amount of spice rub into your salmon fillet

For a healthy and simple meal, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on both sides of the salmon fillet. Then sprinkle a generous amount of the salmon spice rub on the flesh of the salmon. Next, cook the salmon to your preference and serve with your favorite vegetables. Continue reading for more tips on how to grill salmon:

Salmon fillets ready for the grill.
Extra virgin olive oil and salmon spice rub is all you need

How to grill salmon

I know many people are intimidated to grill fish. But grilling salmon is really fairly straightforward if you follow a few tips. My husband is the master of the grill at our house. Here are a few of his best tips:

  1. Always start with a clean, hot (medium-high) grill. Using grill tongs, rub the grill with a little vegetable oil on a towel. This helps prevent sticking.
  2. Place the fish diagonally on the grill skin side down. How long you cook the fish depends on its thickness. If your piece is quite thick, start out on medium-high heat. Then lower the heat after a couple minutes so it doesn’t burn and cooks evenly. The majority of the cooking time (about 75%) should be on one side. We keep the lid down the majority of this time. (It’s ok, to peek once in a while).
  3. Flip once. The reason we like to start skin side down is you can now at this point use your grill spatula to get in-between the skin and the flesh. Flip once. You can also use two spatulas if necessary to help guide the fillet. You can flip the fish right back onto the skin.

I hope you enjoy this sweet and slightly spicy salmon rub. It’s definitely a family favorite.

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Fillet of salmon grilled with asparagus and lemon.
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Salmon spice rub

This sweet and fragrant spice rub pairs perfectly with salmon for a simple and healthy meal.

Spice rub:

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme

For the salmon:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 – 2 lbs salmon fillet
  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl. Grill or bake the salmon to your preference.
  2. Drizzle the olive oil on both sides of salmon and rub it in with your hands. Next, sprinkle a generous amount of the spice rub on the salmon flesh and rub it in with your hands.
  3. Grill or bake the salmon to your preference.

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